How to create a good content strategy?
It’s no secret that publishing brand content is the way to go to boost your online presence. Content that doesn’t just talk about your products and services but establishes your company as a specialist in its field. Most businesses have understood that by now, but while churning out brand content is good, publishing content in a coordinated, well thought-out fashion is even better if you want to stand out from the crowd. So the first thing to do is to take a step back to think before you post away.
Here are the basic steps we believe are necessary in order to establish a coherent strategy that suits your company:
- Analyze: take a good look at your context
- Set objectives & KPIs: what exactly are you looking to achieve?
- Brainstorm: find new ideas for cool content
- Plan: set a calendar for content publishing and stick to it
Now let’s take a look at what each of these steps entails, shall we?
Take a good look at your context
You know your domain better than anyone when it comes to applying your expertise. But are you aware of what your competitors, your customers and your prospects are saying and looking for on the web, and have you reviewed what you’re offering in comparison with their content?
One of the most efficient methods to assess your situation is to conduct a SWOT analysis. Look for the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your content marketing practices and adjust them accordingly.
This will enable you to plan your future content based not on what you think is good or interesting, but on an objective assessment of your market and what might perform the best out there. Once you’ve conducted your analysis, you will be on the right track towards having an action plan.
What exactly are you looking to achieve?
Again, blindly throwing bottles into the sea isn’t the most efficient method for a successful content strategy. Instead, make a list of objectives and performance indicators you can track for each piece of content you put out there. Are you looking for likes, notoriety, traffic generation, prospect conversions into customers, all of the above…?
Defining your objectives will give you a better view of what kind of content you should be creating and what key messages you want to convey. And don’t forget to think about who you want to reach out to: make sure you have a well-defined target audience in order to deliver the right message to the right people. When you know where you want to go, you have a better chance of getting there!
Find new ideas for new content
Avoid sticking to the obvious or the customary. Maybe writing plain articles about your domain is the best thing to do, but maybe there are other things you could do as well.
Don’t hesitate to think outside the box, and the best way to do that is to get more people involved. Ask your team what they think, maybe they have some great ideas, even if they’re not involved in your company’s communications at all.
It’s also good to review your content marketing practices and look for possible weak points. Maybe your content doesn’t always fit what your target audience is looking for, and maybe it would be worth putting more time and effort in creating content that will grab their attention.
Brainstorming new content ideas will help you fill the gaps. Use what you’ve seen competitors do to feed your brainstorming sessions: you can learn from their mistakes and weaknesses as much as from their successes.
Set a calendar for content publishing and stick to it
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to determine when to do it by creating a content timeline. It’s an exercise that’s as simple as it is efficient.
Not only will a calendar enable you to plan your content creation in advance, which will save time and effort by making your workflow more efficient, it will also give visibility to everyone in your company, including people who might not be directly involved in communications, like top management.
Also, having a pre-determined timeline makes things like multiple part content much easier. Planning in advance a series of articles or posts on a given subject is much easier than creating them as you go. It will also do a lot to improve the coherence of your content strategy, and from there your success in attracting prospects, a wider audience, social media clout or whatever you’re after.